Who did it? Why did they do it? And most importantly, how does the United States recover from such a tragic situation?In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, people are striving to find the answers to all these questions and more. A suspect is in custody, the FBI and state police are continuing to investigate and families are struggling to deal with the loss of their loved ones.
But throughout the trauma and confusion in the aftermath of the attack, the U.S. is once again rising up to the plate. Once again showing that this is a country where the free will remain free, and those who harm the freedom of its citizens will see retribution.
“This has been a tough week,” President Obama said in an address to the public. “But we have seen the character of our country once more. We have the courage, resilience and spirit to overcome these challenges and to go forward as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
A massive manhunt for bomber suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev began on Thursday, April 18. During his patrol that evening, Sean Collier, a campus police officer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was shot execution style in his patrol car. Authorities believe the brothers were responsible for his murder, and that they were searching for his gun.
Thousands gathered at his memorial service at MIT on Wednesday, April 24.
“Officer Collier didn’t just have a job at MIT. He had a life at MIT,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif said during the service. “In just 15 months, he built a life with us that was rich in friendship and shared adventure.”
The manhunt conducted by the Boston police led to a shootout on Friday morning, in which 26-year-old bomber suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed. His 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar escaped to Watertown, Mass., where he was captured later that evening.
On Monday, April 22, Dzhokhar was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.
Federal analysts examined the remnants of the bombs and confirmed early speculations, ABC News reported on April 23. The weapon of mass destruction used in the double bombing was constructed out of what seemed to be common kitchen appliances — pressure cookers. Nails and BBs were placed inside, along with explosive devices called pyrotechnic shells. Parts of a toy remote control car were used to create an electrical fusing system.
With instructions from Inspire Magazine, an online English-language terror propaganda publication, the Tsarnaev brothers created the bombs that injured more than 260 people and killed more than three individuals.
If Dzhokhar is convicted in federal court, he will face either a lifetime in prison or the death penalty.
The FBI and police are still investigating if the Chechen immigrant brothers are connected to an organized terrorist network in Russia, Chechnya or otherwise.
“Those who target innocent Americans and attempt to terrorize our cities will not escape from justice,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a written statement. “We will hold those who are responsible for these heinous acts accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”